....where nothing went even slightly 'wrong' and many positive things began to occur from the changes made to the business plan in late December and eventually completed in late January. It hasn't been often that I could make such a statement over the past two years so I will take the opportunity while it presents itself.
The major 'news' of the week was, of course, the quantification of Telstra Retails 'win back' results. The 'head line' number of 1,000,000 new customers for mobile, mobile broadband and wire line broadband is a bit hard to actually understand because Telstra, for whatever reasons, chose to combine those numbers rather than list them separately so it isn't possible to really understand them. Growing mobile customer numbers by something over 500,000 (remembering that Optus also reported a growth in mobile customers) seems to indicate that Vodafone lost 500,000 customers which, depending on the next Vodafone report seems highly unlikely to mean that other mobile suppliers lost 500,000 customers. So what it does mean is unclear. Perhaps Telstra are double counting wireless broadband add ons as new customers? I certainly can't understand it. As for how many new/won back broadband customers are in the 1.000.000 number - who would know from the figures presented. I was almost certainly 'a lot'.
In terms of 'winning back' ADSL customers - my 'inside Telstra' numbers information is that they exceeded their expectations and 'won back' over ten percent of the total ADSL base which is equivalent to all other providers of ADSL services losing 20% of their total customers. Can that be right? It sounds very, very high and with at least two of the larger ISPS (iinet and TPG) claiming to have INCREASED their ADSL customer bases (ignoring take over additions) then that would seem to mean that all other ISPs have lost 40% of their customers over the last 6 - 12 months or so......which I am pretty sure can't be right. It will be interesting to see future reports including the half yearly ABS statistics next month.
Over the past week we saw a very strong growth in interest in practically every product/service in our range. There was a noticeable increase in very large companies showing serious interest in a range of services which can't be put down to y simply the time of year when business business picks up prior to the decision making season of May/June. While I have no doubt that much of this is not going to come to fruition there is a very definite change in the way that Exetel is regarded by larger corporate entities than at any time in the past. Perhaps a very positive sign for the future.
It is also our contract renegotiation 'season' and our CFO resigned the smallest of our IP contracts on Friday at a 50% discount to the pricing for the past twelve months. While it won't make very much difference to our total monthly costs of itself it is a reasonable indication of the lower costs we will expect to achieve on our larger IP and other major transit contracts before end of 'season' on March 31st.
One very pleasing event of the week was that we completed the hiring of the 4 new corporate sales trainees that had been taking so long over the 'Christmas period'. We have now finally completed the second stage (at least in terms of staffing) of the two year plan we established in January 2009. We now have three teams of six 'sales consultants' in North Sydney (team leader plus five) as well as three supervisors who are responsible for one North Sydney based sales team each plus having the responsibilities for building one Sri Lankan based sales support team over the next three months and then building one new North Sydney based 'specialist' sales team each before the end of this financial year.
The training of new sales people on new 'missions' in Sri Lanka continued last week with Clare completing her two week assignment very successfully. Th e corporate sales personnel in Colombo are already delivering 'hot' sales leads to their 'partners' in North Sydney as well as improving the quality of information in our sales data base more completely and more quickly than has ever been achieved in the past. It is far too early to say just how successful these initiative will prove to be in the long run but they have begun very successfully.
Just between you and me ,
I reckon it was 3/Vodafone (and not Optus mobile) lost the 0.5M subscribers. VodaFail, as it were.
Never theless, it does prompt this warning. For those who 'choose' to pre scribe less than a 'premium QoS' mobile experience and others who by design supply, sub-optimally configured, contended network_wireless based upon a lock in consumer contract - you run the reckless risk of brand-damage and mass exodus of any customers.